Audra Ferguson-Allen Associate Attorney, Ice Miller LLP Franklin College (IN), Class of 2004 No Share Share this page on Twitter Share this page on Facebook Share this page on LinkedIn Print this page Email this page Author Photo Page ContentI grew up in a small farming community in Rockville, Indiana. I attended a small public high school; my graduating class had 55 students. I worked hard in high school and stayed active in extra-curricular activities, such as student council, 4-H, and the dance team. Although Rockville High School had excellent teachers and a strong community support system, the size of the school simply did not support advance placement (“AP”) classes or similar types of college curriculum. Regardless, I worked hard and learned the fundamentals. When it came time to pick a college, I wanted the same type of learning atmosphere—one that provided a small-size learning environment, strong community ties, and the ability to stay actively involved in extra-curricular activities. On my first visit to Franklin College, I knew I was home. Franklin College provided classrooms where the teachers focused on the development and cultivation of the individual student. I majored in marketing and finance. My professors continually challenged my academic ability. In fact, it was Franklin College’s individualized focus on students that led me to my current career. I arrived early to my business law class, and the professor approached me and encouraged me to consider a career in the legal field. Outside of stereotypical views on lawyers formed from years of watching Law and Order, I had no idea what non-criminal attorneys did on a daily basis. The professor offered to introduce me to an alumnus who worked as in-house counsel for a large corporation. I went to lunch with the alumni-attorney and signed up to take the LSAT a few months later. On my first day at law school, I looked around the classroom and felt a wave of unease and insecurity. Unlike my colleagues, I did not attend a large university or Ivy League school, and I certainly had never been part of a “mock-trial” team. I was from a small town and I attended a small, liberal arts college. In fact, other than my business law class, I had never even taken a pre-law class. How could I compete? As it turns out, I was prepared. My liberal arts business education may not have provided me with numerous legal classes or a “mock trial” team experience; however, and more importantly, it provided me with the ability to learn. I had taken challenging classes at Franklin College. I had pushed myself to work through complicated issues and develop problem-solving skills—skills that transfer to any field. With my liberal arts education I graduated first in my law school class. In addition to my academic life, as an attorney at a large law firm in Indianapolis, my liberal arts education has provided me with a well-rounded knowledge of the arts, science, world events, and leadership that has carried through in my professional life. My liberal arts education contributed to my success in college and post-college, and it continues to transcend my professional career. From my own experience, a small liberal arts college can provide large opportunities. Audra Ferguson-Allen is an associate attorney in the Litigation Group at Ice Miller LLP. Her work involves products liability litigation and drug and device law. She served as a clerk for Ice Miller from May 2007 to April 2008 and started in September 2008 as an associate. She is admitted to practice law in the state of Indiana and the United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana. Previously, Ferguson-Allen served as an articles editor for the Indiana Law Review, was a member of the Order of the Barristers, and participated in the Women’s Law Society. She is actively involved in the Defense Research Institute and the Indianapolis Bar Association. She also continues to stay involved in several community and nonprofit organizations. Ferguson-Allen holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and finance from Franklin College and a juris doctorate from the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis, where she graduated in 2008 at the top in her class.